I shouldn’t be, but here I am with my cup of coffee taking a break from my writing to do another type of writing. After almost finishing a tough article, and then finding out that a previous one had to be re-worked right before I was headed out to pick up kids from school, I decided to give myself a little breather.
Can you believe that we are about two-and-a-half weeks away from Christmas? I am not pleased to realize this fact for a multitude of reasons. One thing that I like to do during the holiday season is take some time out to watch holiday movies. I mainly like classic cartoons and claymation, and not too many of the old black-and-white film classics, but in the last few years I have been getting into some more modern Christmas movies. I am not talking about the Hallmark or Lifetime variety– those are awful. But I have seen a few movies within the last few years that I liked, and thought I would pass them along to you if you are looking for decent holiday movies that you have not seen before.
- Nothing Like the Holidays(2008)– This movie actually has some well-known stars that you may recognize, like Alfred Molina, Debra Messing, and John Leguizamo. It is a holiday comedy about an interracial couple (he’s Puerto Rican and she’s Caucasian) that go back to his childhood home in Humboldt Park in Chicago. I will forewarn you, if you are not Hispanic, this may not prove to be as funny of a movie for you, but if you are, you will pretty much die laughing. Lots of hilarity ensues, along with some life lessons. The scenario is so close in this movie to my own that it was a really fun one to watch. Every year we go to Chicago for Christmas, and deal with all that the city “offers,” so it was cathartic to see someone else suffer, even in the imaginary movie world. There are quite a few characters and stories to follow, so it is quite entertaining. This movie is good if you want to laugh.
- Where God Left His Shoes(2007)– Okay, this is one of the saddest Christmas movies that I have ever seen. It may also have John Leguizamo in it, but he is not his normal comedic self. The story is about a couple with 2 kids that are having financial problems. John Leguizamo plays a struggling boxer who is not making ends meet in his profession, and has to find a job. Shortly before Christmas, they are evicted from their apartment, and forced to move into a homeless shelter. Other sad happenings ensue along the way, but in the end, the family resolves to stick together, no matter what ill-fortune comes their way. If you have been down on your luck, you need to see this movie, and if you have never had any financial troubles, you need to see this movie to know what others go through on a daily basis. Especially in this troubled economy, more and more people are living this nightmare, and the scary thing is, it can happen to anybody. What really struck me about this story is how it showed that people in this scenario are not lazy, bad, or necessarily to blame, but rather are just victims of tough breaks in life. This movie is good if you want to cry.
- Four Christmases (2008)– I am not a fan of Vince Vaughn, but I decided that I had to see this movie when I saw it advertised. Maybe if you are not the child of divorce or other similar scenarios, you will not get the name, but if you are, you totally understand. When you grow up and get married, you normally have to go to see ‘his’ parents and ‘her’ parents. There may be other family out there, but those are top priority, and it is one of the major adjustments of married life to make that work out. Well, imagine if you have to go to four different parents’ houses as Vince Vaughn’s and Reese Witherspoon’s characters do, and all in one day! To further complicate the issue, the happily unmarried couple was scheduled to go on vacation in order to avoid the whole ordeal, but due to fog, their flight was cancelled, and they were suddenly without an excuse as to why they could not visit on Christmas. In addition to a lot of comedy that takes place, the couple learns a lot about each other and themselves as they visit with their family, and it provides a great deal of “food for thought” about their own life and future together. I really found this movie funny and enjoyable, once again, because the situation is so close to our own as far as the family factor goes. Misery loves company, so I was glad to hear that other people have the same probs that we do, making the holidays not as enjoyable as one would hope. This movie is good if you want to laugh.
I am sure that there are many other quality holiday movies worth watching out there, but these are just the three more recent ones that I have seen that are not as well-known. I love the classics, and they have a lot of meaning and nostalgic value, but it is also kind of interesting to check out these newer Christmas movies that closer reflect today’s modern scenarios.
Do you have any holiday movies that you love watching? Please comment below and share them with us.